Elizabeth Marchiondo was really excited when a colleague brought this dead chameleon to her lab. [Read more]. Elizabeth Marchiondo and Andrew Gillis

The best visualizations communicate complex subjects with evocative images, enlightening illustrations, and engrossing interactive media–all things we value tremendously at Popular Science. So we’re especially pleased to partner with the National Science Foundation to award the Vizzies. The international competition, which the agency has led for more than a decade, recognizes the finest illustrations, photographs, videos, graphics, and apps, whether produced by academic researchers, artists, or hobbyists.

How We Chose The Winners

During two rounds of judging, science and visualization experts at the National Science Foundation and Popular Science winnowed 303 entries to 50 finalists, 10 in each category. To arrive at the Experts’ Choice, a panel of final-round judges rated the visualizations on their artistic merit and communication excellence. Readers voted online for the People’s Choice. Each of the winners was vetted for accuracy by independent experts.

The Final-Round Judges

David Bolinsky, medical animator and co-founder of e.mersion studios

Bennett Foddy, professor of game design at New York University’s Game Center

Soraya Gage, general manager of NBC Learn, an NBC News division

Lena Groeger, science journalist and news apps developer at ProPublica

Robert Kosara, research scientist at Tableau Software

Marcia Rudy, special exhibitions and programs at the New York Hall of Science

Rita Teutonico, executive associate director of the School of Environment, Arts, and Society at Florida International University

Jan Willem Tulp, head of the data visualization studio TULP Interactive

The Winners




Posters & Graphics

Games & Apps

—Additional reporting by Alexandra Ossola, Neel V. Patel, and Katie Peek

This article was originally published in the March 2015 issue of Popular Science, under the title “The 2015 Vizzies.”

False-Color X-Ray Of A Snapping Turtle

While X-raying a snapping turtle, Ted Kinsman was surprised to see it had dozens of eggs inside. [Read more]

Alcian Blue And Alizarin Red Chameleon

Elizabeth Marchiondo was really excited when a colleague brought this dead chameleon to her lab. [Read more]


Matteo Farinella depicts brain cells and neurons as a sprawling network of intertwined tree roots and branches. Read more

Juan Fernández Firecrown Cabbage Tree

Both the birds and the tree in this illustration are nearing extinction. [Read more]

Beautiful Chemistry

A professor in China finds the art in basic science and shares it in this video.

How Origami Is Inspiring Scientific Creativity

A lab demonstrates the use of origami as a design tool for engineers in this video.

Hippocampal Neurons

One of the most important structures in the brain happens to resemble a sea horse, so neuroscientist Robert Clark merged the two together.

From Icefield To Ocean

The Alaskan coastal glaciers, as illustrated in this poster, are “more than just ice.” [Read more]


You can use this app to watch waves and signals ping across your brain in real-time. [Read more]

NASA Visualization Explorer

This app brings NASA data to the masses. [Read more]